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#2224596 - 02/24/12 04:30 AM Unidentified MLC, phase 2 - can I get it right?
TSquared2 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/23/11
Posts: 2330
Loc: Rocky Mountains
I have been lurking here for a few months and finally posting my sitch. I will break this into multiple posts for clarity and brevity (something like "Sitch History" "Changes/180's" "Current", etc).


"Sitch History"

This summer my wife (we've been married 18 years, together 22) was acting distant and very pre-occupied with privacy while on the computer. This behavior had been seen about 1.5 years previously (summer 2009) during her A (only 1 time of PA though, so mostly EA)with her old high school boyfriend with whom she reconnected with via the internet. Come to find out that she had been very busy while our kids and I were on vacation (she stayed home, needed a break from being a stay at home Mom). On our computers was lots of history and pics in the caches of her profiles at some adult swinger and dating websites.

Since she had had an EA earlier, and we worked that out then and I was promised "never again", I was devastated. The first EA had devastated me, to the point of almost suicide, but I looked at my life insurance suicide clause, I was one year out, so I resolved I could make it one year as I would not leave my kids in poverty. I also found an e-book that day ("Break Free" is all of the title I will say) that laid out the types of affairs, the usual personalities that have the different types, the likelihood of resolving and saving the marriage and the best approaches to saving the marriage. A literal life saver for me. Her type was "prove desirability", personality traits matched almost exactly, and the likelihood of saving very high....and the techniques worked (the first advice was "BACK OFF"...the more you try to stop it the worse you make it and push them to the OP...oh so true). It also suggested looking best, stop moping, GAL, etc. I made changes for my part in damaging the marriage and it getting to the point of an affair, C helped her see what she was doing, the OM tripped himself up eventually and she let it go in August 2010.

When confronted with her current activities, she really lost it and had a fit where I thought I was watching a child. The revelations exposed during the outbreak were:

-She needed to resolve her issues of desirability and the missed adolescence and young adulthood due to her social anxiety (she was molested when she was little, and this shut down many parts of her).
-She wanted to have some more life experience and exploration and be someone who I deserved (I never thought less of her or thought her sexually boring).
-I was not supposed to know, it was her thing and I would get the surprise benefits.
-It all was ruined now that I knew....
-She wasn't sure if she wanted a relationship anymore.

I accepted (intellectually, not emotionally) that she had to resolve these issues, and was "okay" as long as it was cyber only and she didn't get emotionally involved, and I learned from the first A that I really didn't have much choice...but I forgot about the "BACK OFF" part and did the begging, pleading, lost puppy routine, and gave into temptation to snoop (which I should have remembered does not help, AT ALL). I dug into relationship books, tried "maxxing the marriage", etc, etc, and basically became a big smothering blanket.

I don't believe I had yet recovered from the first A and lost my true self in there somewhere. Totally deer in the headlights sooper-dooper pleaser routine. Yuck. And I slipped from my changes from before, slid back into the things she didn't like such as drinking too much, being down and unhappy (more in my changes/180's post on that), etc.


In September I got the "I love you but I am not IN-love with you" talk (see paragraph above). I REALLY panicked then (though I was calm and "safe" when she told me). A week later I was told that I did "nothing for her sexually" anymore, that she just "changed", couldn't help it....and the multiple guys in cyberland and vid chatting, etc had nothing to do with it (my IC and IP coach, both female, said she was in denial about that not affecting how she felt about me). During this time I found DB, got the books (and A LOT of other books), counseling and really put the changes/180's into overdrive (can you say "wake up call"?).

Synopsis:
-History of depression, low self-esteem, poor body image, anxiety, sexual abuse at young age
2008-Her father died.
2009-2010- Affair (mostly EA) with highschool boyfriend whom she never really let go of.
2011-back ok, then started heavy AD for anxiety and depression in spring, also confirmed peri-menapause, the nest started emptying...I fell back into bad habits and behaviors...revisiting issues brought up during first A described above that I should have paid attention to...

IC and I figure this is and was MLC. Luckily I found the DB books and this forum and have made more changes and you all have saved me from myself through your sitches and posts, really made me look in the mirror...

I have gathered up sandi2 rules and original sitch (very close to ours I think), Cadet MLC links, and scads of other posters wisdom...

Next post...more M background issues, my current changes/180's/GAL...

T^2
_________________________
In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. - Albert Camus

Uncertainty is the very condition which impels people to unfold their powers.-Eric Fromm


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#2224632 - 02/24/12 01:58 PM Re: Unidentified MLC, phase 2 - can I get it right? [Re: TSquared2]
Cadet Offline
Member

Registered: 11/24/09
Posts: 5268
Originally Posted By: TSquared2
I have gathered up sandi2 rules and original sitch (very close to ours I think), Cadet MLC links, and scads of other posters wisdom...

Welcome to the board, sounds like you do not need my welcome post but I can put it here if you do.

Glad the life insurance saved your life.
Imagine if you were covered for suicide.
Then what would you have done?

Hey we all are a little crazy when we get bombed,
then it is time to pick yourself up dust yourself off and start living again.

Keep us posted and let us know how we can help.
_________________________
Me-60, D28,S27

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#2224644 - 02/24/12 02:39 PM Re: Unidentified MLC, phase 2 - can I get it right? [Re: Cadet]
pulpwood Offline
Member

Registered: 02/14/12
Posts: 182
T^2,

I'm glad you are here. It takes courage to admit thoughts of suicide. I know I would be more lost with out you. So, thanks for sticking around. You have really helped me.

Do you intend on focusing on you? GAL, 180's, DBing, ignoring the EA activity until she wants to talk about your M.

Or, do you have boundaries?

You mentioned stirring the pot on my thread. How did that go?
_________________________
Me-33
W-28
S-5
M-7
ILYBNILWY-1/15/12 7 year itch?

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#2224662 - 02/24/12 04:17 PM Re: Unidentified MLC, phase 2 - can I get it right? [Re: Cadet]
TSquared2 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/23/11
Posts: 2330
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Thank you Cadet.

I have been lurking here since the bomb, haven't posted sitch because W may know I am here, but I am now seeing signs of progress, so I do not want to screw up (via impatience, etc, whatever) and send her back into the tunnel (been there, done that already 2 years ago).

This site has saved me and my sanity, even in lurking mode.

Quote:
Imagine if you were covered for suicide.
Then what would you have done?


Mr. 9mm was in front of me on my desk as I talked with the hotline...

This time around the suicide clause is kicked in, but I got "myself" back via this site, books and C's, so no real worries of suicide this time around (have it crossed my mind? yes, fleetingly when I tail spun into frustration, sadness, etc...but nothing like 2 years ago, and VERY fleeting).

I am strong now.
_________________________
In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. - Albert Camus

Uncertainty is the very condition which impels people to unfold their powers.-Eric Fromm


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#2224667 - 02/24/12 04:54 PM Re: Unidentified MLC, phase 2 - can I get it right? [Re: pulpwood]
TSquared2 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/23/11
Posts: 2330
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Thank you PW,

I have been focusing on me and making my changes stick and integrated into the new me.

From what I have read regarding mlc, and what I know of W...I have to let the A activity run its course.

I do have boundaries, since we still co-habitate with the kids. No cyber in OUR bedroom. If goes PA, then not in OUR house (that would be a deal breaker).

I haven't moved out of OUR bedroom, and will not.

I will not move out, file papers, etc. unless I choose to, and I haven't chosen that yet. I do not want to separate, divorce and do not want this, so W will have to instigate that, not me.

I didn't stir the pot too much, just expressed my need to start trusting, that I want to trust. I just did a calm statement and let it go with no discussion...one of those gut calls I guess (and a 180 for me, not having to have a discussion/resolution right at that moment).
_________________________
In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. - Albert Camus

Uncertainty is the very condition which impels people to unfold their powers.-Eric Fromm


Top
#2224676 - 02/24/12 06:07 PM Re: Unidentified MLC, phase 2 - can I get it right? [Re: TSquared2]
pulpwood Offline
Member

Registered: 02/14/12
Posts: 182
(not having to have a discussion/resolution right at that moment).

I hear you. That is a habit of my own. It seems that wanting a resolution at the moment has never brought one for me. That is one of my 180's as well. It will come through action anyway. Not words.
_________________________
Me-33
W-28
S-5
M-7
ILYBNILWY-1/15/12 7 year itch?

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#2224712 - 02/24/12 09:04 PM Re: Unidentified MLC, phase 2 - can I get it right? [Re: pulpwood]
TSquared2 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/23/11
Posts: 2330
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Sitch post #2

"Some M Dynamics, My Conrtibution to the Problems and my 180's"

We are both really nice people, want to please, and are really uncomfortable with conflict. She is emotive dominant, I am cognitive dominant. She is more spontaneous, thinking later, I am a planner and thinking (over-thinking many times I am sure) first. We have had some tough times, but always got through it. For much of our R, I was kind of her counselor, but that role I started working out of 2 years ago, it was no longer useful to the family and R.

We also had a damn good intimate and sex life.

I think one of the biggest negative dynamics in our relationship was that after dealing with the kids and house all day (and her depression), she had not much to give me when I came home from work (very mentally demanding career, and when this dynamic started...very dysfunctional, junior high school-ish atmosphere), so, I would have a beer or two right after work to de-compress and numb my beat up frustrations. Problem became, I would not stop there, so by the time she had something to give later in the evening, I was into a 6 pack, and not really there anymore.

This became a bad habit of mine for years. I am not a mean person when I drink, I grew up with that, so that was a line in the sand for me. But, I wasn't really listening to her when she started getting worried about my drinking. I am a nice guy, don't get out of control, so I did not see the problem....but, her family background made her much more sensitive to it...I was not listening from her perspective. And I knew, deep down, that I was pushing it, right along the edge of sliding into alcoholism. During the first A, I severely reduced drinking as part of my changes, started working out, etc...but I slipped on those changes after a while and went back to old habits. Then she stopped talking about it...then I read what MW said about talking/nagging stopping...(!) Then I got ILYBNILWY...

So, here are my contributions to the marriage problems, from her, documented in my journal in front of her...and my 180's.

-Daily drinking to excess.
--Stopped that. Only have a couple of drinks occasionally, no more daily and no more excess.

-Let myself go physically.
--Part of GAL, weight lifting, biking, "marriage crisis/affair/mlc diet", from 210 and 28% body fat to 175 and 12% body fat.

-Negative and down about work, letting people take advantage of me.
--Changed attitude about work, do not talk about it unless positive, and don't let people walk on me, stronger boundaries now.

-Not spending enough time with kids.
--Gee, since I don't drink much anymore, lots of time to spend with them, and doing it!

-Not praising enough, especially with day to day things.
--I am understanding/learning her needs now...what I once took for granted that I thought she knew she did a good job, I am now affirming and NOT assuming.

-Lost my "true self", and I deflect praise with self-deprecating comments.
--Thanks to a lot of books, this forum, GAL and introspection/meditation, I have made a lot of progress here. I have stopped making jokes to deflect praise of me, or anyone...they are NOT funny, really.

-Not admitting when wrong and owning up. Try to logically argue my way out of being wrong.
--This has stopped.

-Impatience, especially with the kids.
--Much, much better...though I still have to catch myself sometimes, and when I do, I admit it and apologize.

-"Fixing/Controlling" behavior.
--Wake up call there, many of my behaviors I did not see or intend as controlling...I do now and am constantly working on letting people solve their own problems, making their own mistakes...though it still is a battle within.

-When having a arguement or non-positive discussion, I shut down and/or walk away.
--This is stopped.

-No outside life, her being my only source of social life too much pressure, especially when she needs to work on herself.
--GAL in progress and expanding. Stopped wet blanket behavior...meeting my own needs now.

-$$$/finances attitude.
--I am trying to join her in frugality better and do now take a less carefree attitude, again here, I was not listening from HER perspective well at all.

-Not following through on things.
--As a recovering "pleaser", I am now able to say "no" or "yes" rather than "maybe"...and when I do say "yes", I do follow through.

-"Too nice" of a guy, especially since her first A. Let people walk on me, comes off as weak.
--UGH!...she is right, I went to the Heartless B__ches Int'l website and yup...there was a mirror...some books, self-reflection, boundaries and practice is working me back to being a man, without going all alpha-male jerk.

The interesting thing is, of these issues that I was aware of, most I did not like in me either.

Those I was not aware (eg, controlling behavior), once aware...yuck, omg...yuck!
_________________________
In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. - Albert Camus

Uncertainty is the very condition which impels people to unfold their powers.-Eric Fromm


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#2224735 - 02/24/12 11:25 PM Re: Unidentified MLC, phase 2 - can I get it right? [Re: TSquared2]
TSquared2 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/23/11
Posts: 2330
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Sitch post #3

GAL and some current status


Some of my GAL activities:

Working out, weight lifting.

More time with the kids.

Meditation and working on my spirituality.

I started tying flies and leather working again...W once said that seeing me do that was "sexy"...(these sorta come and go).

Biking to work except in winter.

Trying to find new friends and reconnect with a couple old ones.

REI has weekly free events (I am into outdoor/back country sports).

I can't quite get back to music/songwriting yet emotionally...like the world needs another lost lover song...:)

Books, books, books (and not all self-help, R books either, got some good sci-fi/fantasy/literature)...thrift store gets me a bag o' books for a quarter (W gets these for me actually).

Joined some meet-up groups.

Since she has wanted/needs a lot of space, I will get out of the house in the evenings and just do whatever...after reading sandi2's sitch and how she felt about her H (my W said same things almost verbatim) during EA, I figure not being at home lessened her annoyance towards me (which she has verified) and maybe assisted her seeing that maybe I wasn't 100% of the problem.

I made a huge list of activities to consider as the seasons change and more opportunities arise...


Some current status:

Since I have been lurking for months, it is kind of hard to tell all of the rollercoaster ride so far.

I have really come a long way in detaching, I even sat myself down and really mentally explored us not making it and her leaving....REALLY explored my thoughts, emotions...cried...then realized I would be ok, that I WOULD MAKE IT. I would be sad, lonely, heartbroken, etc, but, I would make it. I look at her A activities, the mood swings, the personality fluctuations and so forth as a social anthropologist might...curious, but not affecting me too much (yes, it does affect me, but I have better days more often than not).

What saddens me is seeing alien mode, and that I do not like, or find at all attractive, that alien.

I have seen more re-emergance of her true sweetheart self, less alien mode. based on what she has been saying, I think she is realizing a lot of things, like how she is affecting others, some of the root causes...when she gets all wrapped up in her processing these are the only times now that she mentions a desire to leave.

Alien mode seems to be diminishing and less intense. She is recognizing "it" and doing what she needs (going for a drive, scream therapy, etc) and verbalizing what it is and what she is doing about it.

I have also seen a new side of her, more upfront with her thoughts, not afraid to express herself. This I like.

She now tells me when her anger, frustrations are not caused by me (unless I really did cause it, and she tells me these times as well). She is starting to recognize where things are coming from I believe. Getting some clarity.

She has started reconnecting with her family again, they were close before, she went pretty dark on them for 3-4 months.

She has taken some interest in the community, our kids school, some of our kids friends families...and had a great not-for-profit business idea, which I told her was great, lets do it when you are ready! I would be the behind the scenes support person, she would drive it.

"A" activity seems to be parallel to when she was starting to wrap things up the first time around with OM.

Through out most of this, W has continued to pick me up things when out shopping that I didn't ask for, but needed or could use (even some things I would like to have, but not needed)...

I am keeping expectations near zero...but my intuition is perking its ears up...

I have maintained periodic "self check-in" times for myself where I really ask myself if I am still willing to continue, or not.

I am not done yet.

Now I just have to remember to take it slowly...(thanks sandi2!)


T^2
_________________________
In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. - Albert Camus

Uncertainty is the very condition which impels people to unfold their powers.-Eric Fromm


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#2224747 - 02/25/12 12:36 AM Re: Unidentified MLC, phase 2 - can I get it right? [Re: TSquared2]
TSquared2 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/23/11
Posts: 2330
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Quote:
and had a great not-for-profit business idea, which I told her was great, lets do it when you are ready! I would be the behind the scenes support person, she would drive it.


180 for me...its fun not taking over/controlling/adding in all my ideas/finding the possible problems...wish I have figured this out sooner in life.
_________________________
In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. - Albert Camus

Uncertainty is the very condition which impels people to unfold their powers.-Eric Fromm


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#2224919 - 02/25/12 05:17 PM Re: Unidentified MLC, phase 2 - can I get it right? [Re: TSquared2]
TSquared2 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/23/11
Posts: 2330
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Interesting conversation with W last night.

She actually called ME to check in (this is new), she was in a great mood helping my sons friends family move. I was still at work so I made a crack about getting the dancing girls to quite down a bit so I could here her, she actually laughed, her old, true laugh. I haven't been funny for 6 months.

So she gets home and she starts a conversation with me about all this stuff with our sons family...I listen, validate, etc. She seems to be having a great time and seems to be enjoying my company (yea!!).

Then she says out of the blue " I don't know why I still don't feel any sexual attraction to you. It has been 6 months and still nothing. I can't imagine feeling differently."

My reply, paraphrased:"From what I have read, in books, forums etc, (listed a few female authors) is that it will take time, and we need to do small doses of spending time together, and...(risk mode "on", super calm and centered)stopping your cyber affairs will help speed the process, they are distracting from "us"...and that she had to make the choice to try to find me attractive in that way again.

Usually bringing that subject up would trigger uber-defensive mode in her. She was pretty calm...asked me to repeat..I did, brought up some of sandi2's statements...

She then said, "well, when I am in depression or anger I can't imagine feeling any other way at that time, so maybe that is what is going on."

I then validated her and told her, etc...later we had a nice quick exchange....and now this morning was pleasant as well...

Taking it slowly, trying to hide any hope/excitement signs in my facial expressions etc, keeping expectations low...trying to minimize mind reading...

any thoughts anyone?

T^2
_________________________
In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. - Albert Camus

Uncertainty is the very condition which impels people to unfold their powers.-Eric Fromm


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